Celebrant: Trusting that God knows our desires and needs, we bring to Him in a spirit of sincere humility, the needs of the world and ourselves.
For those who lead the people of God that they may seek after integrity and be true to their call to service, we pray to the Lord...
That those who defend and promote abortion may be transformed by the renewal of their minds, and always defend the right of every person to life, we pray to the Lord...
For all who work, that they may see their labor as a way of becoming like God, the Creator of all things, we pray to the Lord....
For blessing on all God’s priests, that they will more and more be conformed to the radiant image of God’s Son and inspire many to offer their lives in the service of the Church, we pray to the Lord..
For young people to learn to love charity, justice, and a gentle spirit, we pray to the Lord...
For all those who suffer in body, mind or spirit that they may be cared for with gentleness and patience, we pray to the Lord...
Giver of all life, We ask you to sustain our life And the life of the world. Hear our cries for help. Make us as generous as you areIin answering those who turn to you. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.
Pope Benedict: Abortion Resolves Nothing
‘Doctors, in particular, cannot fail to consider important the grave duty to defend against the deception of the conscience of many women who think they will find in abortion the solution to family, economic, social difficulties or to the problems of health of their children. Especially in this last situation, the woman is convinced, often by the doctors themselves, that abortion represents not only a licit moral choice, but that in addition it is a necessary "therapeutic" act to avoid the suffering of the child and of its family and an "unjust" burden to society.“In a cultural background characterized by the eclipse of the meaning of life, in which the common perception of the moral gravity of abortion and of other forms of attempts against human life has been attenuated, exacted from doctors is a special fortitude to continue affirming that abortion does not resolve anything, but that it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child's father, often ruining family life.“This duty, however, does not only affect the medical profession or health professionals. It is necessary that the whole of society defend the right to life of the conceived and the true good of the woman, who never, under any circumstance, will be fulfilled in the choice of abortion.” (From Address to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, February 27, 2011)
Jer 20:7-9Rom 12:1-2Mt 16:21-27
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The Church’s efforts to proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of Life are marked by the themes in today’s readings.
First, the effort to defend life is based on the thirst for God that today’s first reading from Jeremiah and today’s Psalm express. We long for him, who is life itself, and we long for others to possess him as well. We serve the Kingdom of Life because it has first captured us, enthralled us, and convinced us that all our happiness and fulfillment are found in it – the Kingdom of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love, and peace.
Second, it is that conviction which departs from a worldly way of thinking, which would see no connection between freedom and truth, but which instead asserts that individual belief and choice are primary, even over life itself. This attitude builds a culture of death. As St. Paul says in the second reading today, we must not conform ourselves to this age, nor to its “pro-choice” ways of thinking, especially about the unborn and the disabled. The pro-life movement is based on the renewal of our mind of which Paul speaks, a renewal that results in the ability to discern “what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” It is the basis of seeing, as John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, that “life is always a good.”
Third, the Gospel passage reinforces the need for this discernment. Peter was thinking in a worldly way when he saw suffering and crucifixion as something to be avoided at all costs. Such thinking today leads some to see abortion as a solution to the suffering of a “crisis pregnancy,” or euthanasia as the escape from illness and disability. But that is not Godly thinking. As someone has said, “The false god transforms suffering into violence; the true God transforms violence into suffering.” Thus Jesus did by his cross; thus he calls us to do by embracing ours.